Spain in Our Hearts: Americans in the Spanish Civil War, 1936-1939
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For three crucial years in the 1930s, the Spanish Civil War dominated headlines in America and around the world, as volunteers flooded to Spain to help its democratic government fight off a fascist uprising led by Francisco Franco and aided by Hitler and Mussolini. Today we're accustomed to remembering the war through Hemingway’s For Whom the Bell Tolls and Robert Capa’s photographs. But Adam Hochschild has discovered some less familiar yet far more compelling characters who reveal the full tragedy and importance of the war: a fiery nineteen-year-old Kentucky woman who went to wartime Spain on her honeymoon, a Swarthmore College senior who was the first American casualty in the battle for Madrid, a pair of fiercely partisan, rivalrous New York Times reporters who covered the war from opposites sides, and a swashbuckling Texas oilman with Nazi sympathies who sold Franco almost all his oil — at reduced prices, and on credit.
referred up the chain of command to a colonel. “I found Colonel Peñaredonda sitting cross-legged with a plate of fried eggs on his knee. . . . ‘No, Peter,’ he said casually, his mouth full of egg, ‘. . . Just take him away and shoot him.’ “I was so astonished that my mouth dropped open; my heart seemed to stop beating. Peñaredonda looked up, his eyes full of hatred: “‘Get out!’ he snarled. ‘You heard what I said.’ As I withdrew he shouted after me: ‘I warn you, I intend to see that this order
Minister W. L. Mackenzie King would pay a state visit to Berlin the following year and write in his diary that the Führer “will rank some day with Joan of Arc among the deliverers of his people.” Whatever faults the Soviet Union might have, to the Merrimans, Louis Fischer, Milly Bennett, and millions of others, it seemed the only major nation taking a strong stand against the most dangerous development on the planet: fascism. Even in the United States, proto-Fascist movements were flaunting
what he considered alien influences. Anyone speaking Basque or Catalan in public or in church was subject to arrest; Catalan Christian names and Catalan dancing were forbidden. Though there had been few Jews in Spain for centuries, the Generalissimo railed against the “Jewish spirit.” He proclaimed a “Law of Political Responsibilities” which, by a logic worthy of 1984, declared that because his seizure of power had been legitimate, anyone who opposed it was guilty of military rebellion. Similarly
took aerial photographs, studied the results of different tactics, and sent home detailed reports. Sometimes the legion deliberately attacked isolated Spanish towns in the path of an advance, so that as soon as the area was captured, a team on the ground could assess the effectiveness of the bombing. In 1938, residents of four villages near Valencia who survived murderous raids wondered why they had been targeted: the towns had no Republican troop concentrations, factories, or military bases.
given the Church. Spain’s Catholic hierarchy was the most reactionary in Europe. Its Jesuits, for example, published a translation of the infamous anti-Semitic forgery The Protocols of the Elders of Zion and serialized it in one of their magazines. To see how the Germans dealt with troublemakers, one priest known for his zealous attacks on Jews and Freemasons, Father Juan Tusquets Terrats, had paid a visit in 1933 to the new concentration camp at Dachau. The great majority of Spain’s Catholic